Lasso invokes the ‘cross death’, closes Assembly

May 17, 2023 | 71 comments

President Guillermo Lasso declared the muerte cruzada, or the cross death, early Wednesday, claiming the decision is justified by “political crisis and internal commotion.”

President Guillermo Lasso speaking Tuesday at the National Assembly.

Under rules of the declaration, the National Assembly is dissolved and new elections for the Assembly and the presidency will be held. Article 148 of the Constitution allows Lasso to rule by decree for a period of approximately six months until the election is completed, and new officials take office.

“I have instructed the National Electoral Council (CNE) to immediately call National Assembly and presidential elections for the remainder of the elected period [which ends in May 2025].”

In a brief televised announcement, Lasso claimed his action is intended to protect the integrity of Ecuadorian democracy. “This is a democratic action, because it gives back to Ecuadorians the power to decide their future,” he said.

He added: “Under current conditions it is not possible to move forward or to solve the problem of Ecuadorian families, the challenges that insecurity and terrorism presents. In the midst of this, there is an Assembly that has as a political project the destabilization of democracy and the government.”

He added that the National Assembly is closed as of 6:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Following Lasso’s decree, the head of the Armed Forces Joint Command, Nelson Proaño, said the military will respect and enforce the cross death. “The decision to dissolve the Assembly and call new elections is based on the Constitution and must be respected by all citizens.”

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